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Breytenbach Disciplinary: Media access ruling imminent

A judge will today rule whether media will have access to Glynnis Breytenbach’s disciplinary hearing.

Suspended Prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach. Picture: Mandy Wiener/EWN.
Richard Mdluli,Glynnis Breytenbach,Barry Madolo,Hamilton Cele,Media 24,Avusa
Local

JOHANNESBURG - Judgment will be handed down in the North Gauteng High Court on Monday in an application brought by several media houses to be allowed access to the disciplinary hearings of National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach.

On Friday, publisher Media24, Avusa Media and Mnet launched an urgent application for access to the hearing scheduled to resume on Monday. 

The media groups say Breytenbach’s hearings are in the interest of the public.

The prosecutor was in April suspended from her post as specialised Commercial Crimes Unit head in Pretoria, allegedly because of her misconduct in a mining rights case and interference in investigations into her conduct during several of her cases. 

She claimed she was suspended by the NPA to prevent her from prosecuting former crime intelligence head Richard Mdluli, but the prosecuting authority has strongly disputed this.

Breytenbach was in charge of the fraud, corruption and murder cases against the former lieutenant-general.

Judge Ronel Tolmay is expected to hand down judgment at 8.30am, while Breytenbach's disciplinary is set to resume at 10am.

The media houses brought the application for access to the hearing after the prosecuting authority decided that journalists would not be allowed inside its Silverton building, let alone the disciplinary hearing.

The NPA made those comments despite an earlier ruling by the hearing's chairperson Advocate Barry Madolo. He earlier ruled that the media would be allowed to attend the hearings.

Madolo has since recused himself and the NPA has said he had no authority to make such a decision.

Breytenbach supports the application and has accepted there is public interest in the proceedings.

On Wednesday, Judge Hamilton Cele of the Johannesburg Labour Court dismissed the prosecutor’s case to overturn her suspension.

He found that the court did not have the jurisdiction to overturn her suspension and said she should have taken her case to the National Bargaining Council instead.

“The applicant has not shown the existence of any extraordinary circumstances to justify a final declaration on the unlawfulness of her suspension.” 

(Edited by Thato Motaung)

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